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Whooping be Cough cases on the rise in Macon County

Macon County Public Health is issuing a public health alert in response to a concerning outbreak of whooping cough that is spreading across WNC. Currently, 6 cases have been confirmed in Macon County, affecting multiple age groups.

Whooping Cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection that spreads through coughs and sneezes. Symptoms typically show within 5 to 10 days after exposure, but may take up to 21 days to appear. Symptoms of Whooping Cough start out like symptoms of the common cold and include sinus congestion, low grade fever, apnea (potentially life threatening pauses in breath), and cyanosis (babies turning blue/purple).

If whooping cough goes untreated, symptoms become more severe to include a whooping like cough lasting weeks to months, often leading to coughing fits or vomiting, labored breathing, and exhaustion due to excessive coughing.

Infants under 12 months and individuals with weakened immune systems face the highest risk of severe complications and even death. To combat this outbreak, Macon County Public Health urges all residents to ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date.

For people who can’t or choose not to get vaccinated and develop symptoms of Whooping Cough, it is essential to seek medical attention and treatment as soon as possible to reduce the length and severity of illness and disease spread within our community.

All teens and adults should receive at least one Tdapvaccine. Check with your health care provider to see if you are due. Vaccination during pregnancy is especially important, as it offers protection to infants in their first months of life.

​​​​​​-Dr. Allison Smith, Medical Director

​​​​​​​Macon County Public Health

In addition to vaccination, the Health Department emphasizes the importance of good hygiene practices, including coughing and sneezing into elbows, frequent hand washing, and staying home if symptomatic.

Call Macon County Public Health at (828) 349-2081 to schedule a vaccination appointment.

Everyone who develops Whooping Cough symptoms should seek medical attention as soon as possible to reduce the length and severity of sickness. For more information on Whooping Cough and vaccination guidelines, visit the CDC’s website.

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